Dr. Vanessa Kovachy

Dr. Vanessa Kovachy is a certified school psychologist. Dr. Kovachy earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University in the field of Psychology. After graduating, Dr. Kovachy conducted research at Stanford University School of Medicine studying the effects of preterm birth on neural development and academic performance. She piloted, managed, and conducted the assessments investigating how children born preterm differed in their academic, functional, behavioral, and social emotional functioning compared to their full-term peers. During this tenure, Dr. Kovachy published several peer reviewed articles, presented at national conferences, and added considerable and important information to the field of educational neuroscience and developmental medicine. Dr. Kovachy earned her Masters of Arts in Education and additional certification in School-Based Mental Health Services at Alliant International University. She then earned her Doctorate in Educational Psychology at Alliant International University. Her dissertation focused on the Best Practices in the School- based Assessment of Children Born Preterm.

Dr. Kovachy worked as a school psychologist in Northern California before moving to Illinois. She has since worked in the public schools in the North Shore. Dr. Kovachy has used her expertise to provide consultation to educators and parents. She provided on- site training for teachers and staff on behavioral and academic intervention, progress monitoring, and best practice techniques for evaluating complex learning needs. Above all, Dr. Kovachy emphasized that all individuals are deserving of unconditional positive regard. Using a strengths-based approach, Dr. Kovachy conducted thorough and cross- disciplinary evaluations of individuals, and ensured that both the school team and family left meetings feeling knowledgeable, understood, included in the educational assessment and planning, and most importantly, empowered. Dr. Kovachy believes that an individual’s neurodiversity can be a strength, and should be embraced, acknowledged, and celebrated.

Dr. Kovachy has extensive and advanced training on the assessment of developmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorders. She uses a variety of techniques to elucidate the neuropsychological underpinnings of specific learning disabilities (e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and intellectual disabilities. Dr. Kovachy also has extensive experience with both evaluating and providing interventions, counseling, and parent training for individuals with social emotional and behavioral disorders, including oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression. Dr. Kovachy advocates for the use of science-based intervention, collaboration with school and medical teams, and ongoing support for both the individual and family to meet the needs of all individuals.

Dr. Ashley Ehrhardt

Dr. Ashley Ehrhardt is a board certified School Psychologist and American Board School Neuropsychologist Diplomate. She received her Doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from National-Louis University after completing her Master’s work in Social Science Research at the University of Chicago. Dr. Ehrhardt furthered her educational experience by completing a Post-Doctoral training program in School Neuropsychology through Texas Woman’s University. With a strong foundation in research, Dr.Ehrhardt worked as the Project Director for a National Institute of Mental Health funded research project validating the criteria used to diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Dr. Ehrhardt worked as a School Psychologist for the Wilmette Public Schools in both the Early Childhood and Elementary programs. Currently, Dr. Ehrhardt conducts developmental evaluations for the Latin School of Chicago and she volunteers for “Adventure Camp”, a one-week intensive treatment program for children diagnosed with Selective Mutism. Her work in private practice focuses on the diagnostic assessments of students from early childhood through college. Dr. Ehrhardt has specialized training in trans-disciplinary play based assessments as well as the assessment and diagnosis of early childhood disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the treatment of Selective Mutism.

Courtney Radde

Courtney Radde graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Special Education and earned a Masters degree in Reading from Concordia University. Prior to joining PRS, she worked as a Learning Behavior Specialist in Wilmette providing support to students with learning disabilities in the general education classroom. Courtney specializes in providing support to students struggling with literacy and executive functioning skills such as organization, self-regulation, planning and study skills. In addition to providing educational therapy, Courtney works collaboratively with PRS colleagues in the evaluation process, assessing cognitive and academic abilities of students and using that information to develop educational plans. Courtney is largely involved with PRS learning specialists and clients. When she is not working, Courtney enjoys baking and spending time with her three daughters.

Gretchen Anderson

Gretchen Anderson earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Gretchen worked as a special education resource teacher in Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 prior to being a learning behavior specialist in Wilmette Public School District 39.  In addition, she worked for Sylvan Learning where she provided personalized instruction in reading, writing, mathematics and study skills. Gretchen has over six years of experience, working mostly with middle schoolers with a variety of educational needs such as learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, emotional/behavioral needs, and ADHD. During the summer, you will find Gretchen teaching at CampDIY Evanston.

Meagan Harlow

Meagan Harlow graduated from Manchester College (now Manchester University) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Special Education and a Masters degree in Technology in Education from National Louis University. Meagan currently teaches at The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School and has spent her entire 8-year career specializing in working with students with learning and emotional disabilities.

Megan Paustian

Megan Cole Paustian received her PhD in Literatures in English from Rutgers University and her BA in English from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. In addition to collaborating with PRS, she is an Assistant Professor of English at North Central College in Naperville, where she teaches courses in writing, literature, and gender studies. Much of her work has been guiding first-year writing students—who enter college with a wide range of preparedness levels and learning needs—through the difficult transition to meet the demands of college-level reading, writing, and thinking. Through her experience as both a teacher and a writer, Megan understands that the writing process is often overwhelming; through one-on-one work with students, she breaks down that process into manageable steps and concrete strategies, tailored to individual student needs. This personalized approach gives students tools for improvement, while also helping them see their strengths and the value of their own ideas.

Mina Caputo

Mina Caputo holds her bachelor’s degree in psychology and communications from Butler University. She received her M.Ed. with a Learning Behavior Specialist endorsement from DePaul University. She has over seven years of experience in education working with students ranging from kindergarten through high school and is trained in multisensory language programs. Mina has provided instruction and remediation in various subjects, including math, reading, writing and executive functioning. Additionally, Mina assists with the evaluations and coordination efforts associated with the evaluation and educational therapy processes. She has worked with PRS colleagues since 2011.

Debbie Cooper, MS, LCPC

Debbie Cooper is a special education consultant and licensed clinical professional counselor who guides families to make decisions about learning settings to meet their child’s needs. She has 30+ years of experience in the public schools in the north shore area. Working with many students and their families over the years, Debbie has played a vital role in assisting students and family members with their educational decisions. In her role as counselor she has worked through local hospitals and privately with children, at risk adolescents, adults, parents and families. After establishing an understanding of learning needs of the individual, Debbie is dedicated to a collaborative process of well-informed decision-making to select a setting with a structure of support that will allow the individual to feel safe, to learn, and to grow. Her knowledge of programs and settings is extensive. Debbie understands the importance of each individual’s characteristics, as well as the priorities and concerns of each family. With a true child-centered focus, she establishes a relationship between families and new learning settings to create the best opportunity for success.

Sara Hess

Sara is a certified Reading Specialist and secondary English teacher. She is currently a teacher at Stevenson High School working with academically and behaviorally at risk students. In addition, she has previously taught both middle school English and various high school English classes.

Jenna Pahnke

Jenna Pahnke received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Secondary Education from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and her Master of Arts in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Prior to joining PRS, she worked in the Wilmette School District for 7 years as a Learning Behavior Specialist. She works with a variety of students from 1st grade through high school but specializes in middle school-aged students. When not working with students, Jenna enjoys spending time with her 5 month old son, playing basketball, and reading.

Ashley Krupski

Ashley Krupski graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology & Dance and has a Masters of Science degree in Elementary Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. She has over 8 years of classroom teaching experience in grades K-4 as well as instructing and supporting teachers as a literacy coach. Her passion for developmental psychology and interest in the way learning takes place within each individual led to her enthusiasm for teaching and finding ways to connect with every student and their unique learning challenges. When she is not with students, she enjoys her time cooking, watching sports, and keeping up with her four children.

Courtney Schuld

Courtney worked as a Special Education teacher for 12 years prior to working privately with students. She received her degree as an Intervention Specialist from the University of Dayton and is LBS 1 Certified. She has been formally trained in many multi-sensory reading interventions. Courtney provides individualized instruction to students and gets to know the families that she works with. Her professional interests include working with students that have reading and writing disabilities and students that have executive functioning needs. Her passion is helping children reach their full academic and social potential!

Seamus Foley

Seamus graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in economics before receiving his master’s in education from National Louis University. He holds both high school and middle school math endorsements. Currently, he teaches high school math at the Chicago High School for the Arts. Seamus believes that problem solving, critical thinking, and use of logic make training in mathematics a vital piece of a young person’s education. He takes pride in encouraging students to put forth effort to train the brain, and to view all demonstrations of understanding as positive signs of growth.

Dina Scavuzzo

Dina Scavuzzo graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in history. Following this, Dina obtained her Masters in Teaching Secondary Education from National Louis University. Before joining PRS, Dina taught high school English in Palatine and Grayslake for 7 years, as well as English as a Foreign Language for 1 year in Florence, Italy. In each of these teaching positions, Dina has worked with students of many ages, but her main focus has been at the high school level, where she taught Freshman and Sophomore English, as well as Senior Creative and Expository Writing. Dina spent a lot of her career in the co-taught setting, where she collaborated with special education teachers, counselors, and students with learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and those who needed additional academic support within the general education classroom. Dina is passionate about practicing skills that will benefit the well-being of a child as a whole, in addition to teaching the curriculum. Dina has recently left the regular classroom to be with her son and baby number two on the way, but still enjoys providing educational and emotional support to students in the areas of writing, organization, and test prep – specifically the ACT.

Andrew Frost

Andrew received his Master’s of Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has 16 years of experience as a teacher of diverse learners at Walter Payton College Prep. He has extensive experience structuring IEPs that authentically support his students, who may have trouble navigating the demands of a rigorous all-honors and AP curriculum. His specialty is creating and maintaining a positive and consistent rapport with both his students and their parents.

He also serves as a learning specialist to students who need specific content-area help or test preparation for standardized exams, including the ACT and GRE.

Originally from the east coast, Andrew is an avid New York Mets fan who is well-aware of the dangers involved in maintaining his allegiance to his team while residing in Chicago.  Aside from teaching, Andrew enjoys performing with a variety of musical acts around the city as a drummer and a singer.  He recently took on the role of coaching his son’s Little League team, which was a profound and humbling experience.  When at home, he enjoys reading and playing guitar and singing with his wife.

Chrissy Adams

Chrissy Adams received her B.S. in Integrated English Education from Miami University in Ohio and her M.A. in Literature from Northwestern University. Before joining PRS, she taught high school English in Arlington Heights and San Diego for eight years, and she was also a teaching assistant in New Trier’s English department for two years. While her classroom experience is mostly at the secondary level, she has worked with students of all ages. She enjoys enriching the reading and writing experience for students and helping them feel more connected and interested in their schoolwork. Chrissy has a 3 year-old son and an infant daughter and is in the slow process of updating her family’s fixer-upper home.

Karin McNerney

Karin received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Miami University, Ohio. After 15 loving years as a household CEO (a.k.a. stay-at-home Mom), she headed back to the classroom. For 3 years, she substituted grades K-12 in her local Sylvania, Ohio school district. Next, she found her niche as a Learning Specialist at St. Ursula Academy, an all-girls, grades 6-12, private school in Toledo, Ohio. While there, in addition to tutoring ELA and Reading, Karin was adept at honing her students’ organization and study skills.  Most of her days, though, Karin’s hours concentrated on essay writing. She truly relishes empowering her students to independently and confidently organize an essay through the utilization of her simplified step-by-step process.

In 2016, Karin earned her K-12 Reading Endorsement, equipping her with a certified license to informally assess, diagnose, and remediate the “rough waters” many students find themselves navigating in the, sometimes, choppy sea of Reading. Karin has also experienced success in offering help in ACT prep for both the English and Reading portions. Her expertise lie in not only content instruction, but also strategy instruction. In her spare time, Karin enjoys good food, great music, time with friends, and long walks throughout this amazing city.

Lexi Schneider

Lexi Schneider received a Bachelor of Science as a Learning and Behavior Specialist from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She went on to receive a Master of Education in Reading Education at Concordia University. Lexi worked as a special education teacher in the public school setting for 10 years.  She has worked with students with learning disabilities as well as social emotional disabilities. Lexi provided varying levels of support for students both in the general education setting and small group environment.  She has extensive experience creating and implementing Individualized Education Plans in addition to formal Behavior Intervention Plans. Throughout Lexi’s career as a special educator, she has had the opportunity to collaborate and co-treat with related service professionals.  Lexi is certified in the Wilson Reading System and has experience with other research-based literacy programs including Edmark, Language for Thinking and Read Naturally.

Laury Wolf

Laury Wolf graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Economics with a concentration in Mathematics from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign.  From there she earned her master’s degree in Math Education from New York University. She currently is teaching Upper School Mathematics at Francis W. Parker. Laury’s passion is to help students make sense of the world while using mathematics. In her spare time Laury enjoys spending time with her family, running, and watching Netflix.

Call to schedule an appointment: 847.972.0072